According to industry rumours, the series will begin filming in April 2019 and wrap in October, for a 10-episode series. This might be cutting things a little fine for a 2019 airing, but it’s still technically possible.
Alongside the returning Stewart, the series has so far added Merlin, The Musketeers and Heroes star Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd (Marvel’s Daredevil, Blindspot) as regulars alongside newcomer Evan Evagora.
And while we don’t know exactly what characters they’re playing, Deadline reports that Cabrera will be the pilot of Picard’s ship who is also a “skilful thief,” while Hurd is an intelligence officer with a powerful memory and problems with substance addiction.
Both of these details, if true, suggest that the Picard series will still involve some space exploration, which is one of the biggest questions fans still have about the series. Just how similar to a normal Star Trek show will it be?
More recently, it’s also been revealed that The Newsroom’s Alison Pill, Hamilton’s Isa Briones and Penny Dreadful’s Harry Treadaway are set to be a part of the series in as-yet-unknown roles, making Picard’s crew look pretty impressive – if, of course, that is who they’re playing.
Currently everyone seems to be calling it “Picard” offhand, with Star Trek: Discovery lead Sonequa Martin-Green suggesting that this could actually end up being the series’ final title.
“[Patrick Stewart] is helming his own Star Trek,” she told Larry King.
“It’s going to be called Picard.”
However, other rumours suggest that the series could be titled Star Trek: Destiny, so we’ll have to wait and see which version comes true.
What will happen in Patrick Stewart’s Star Trek spin-off?
The story of the spin-off is currently unknown, though its set a number of years after the last time we saw Picard onscreen (in 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis) and Stewart has said it will “explore new dimensions within” the Starfleet captain.
“He may not – and I stress, may not – be a captain anymore, he may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognise and know so well,” Stewart told an audience in Las Vegas.
“It may be a very different individual, someone who has been changed by his experiences. 20 years will have passed, which is more or less the time between the very last movie, Nemesis, and today. We have no scripts as yet, we’re just talking talking, talking storylines. it will be something very, very different.”
“Here’s what I will tell you- I had an amazing experience yesterday,” creator Alex Kurtzman said at a recent Star Trek panel. “I sat at Patrick’s kitchen table and I heard him read the first episode and I almost cried. It was quite something.”
“He’s at an amazing place in his life. He’s so excited. It’s going to be a very different show from Discovery. The only way this universe, I think, works correctly is if each show is really different and speaks to a different part of Star Trek.”
“This is going to be a very thoughtful, psychological portrait in a lot of ways. We all know what Picard means to the world and why he, like so many legendary characters on Star Trek, has endured and what he’s represented. He in some ways has to go through a gauntlet to find that again.
“Things have changed for him and changed him in some ways, and yet he is so deeply and fundamentally still Picard. We’re thrilled at what we’re going to deliver. I know Patrick is really excited. The cast is coming together beautifully. And I will give you nothing else.”
Meanwhile, rumoured details about some new actors cast may offer further clues about the direction of the story…
Will any of The Next Generation cast appear in Picard’s spin-off?
Stewart’s old Star Trek: TNG co-star Jonathan Frakes (far right) is reportedly directing a few episodes of the series, having previously taken the captain’s chair for episodes of Discovery, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and even multiple episodes of TNG while he was still acting on it.
At the moment, it’s unclear if any other TNG characters will have a role in the series.